Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fijian Welsh New Zealand Australian Chantuese: Tina Harrod

Tina Harrod is an exquisite Antipodian secret. Born in New Zealand of Fijian and Welsh (!) parents, she moved to Sydney in the late 1980s. In the big city she sang in several bands and ardently pursued classic American soul music.  She met and married Jackie Orszaczky a music producer, guitarist (originally from Hungary) who produced her first album Shacked Up in Paradise, one of the best Australian soul/R&B records ever produced.
Tina Harrod

Her second album, the subject of tonight’s post, is Work Songs. This is a straight jazz record but covers an eclectic musical waterfront, with highlights being Nick Drake’s River Man, and Bob Dylan’s I Shall be Released as well as a couple of standards like Round Midnight and the blues staple CC Rider.  In each instance she is in total control and recasts each in a fresh and compelling way. The musicians around her are sharp, sharper and sharpest. 

In two albums Tina Harrod stamped her authority and presence onto two distinct genres and now claims top position in both.  She plays regularly around the country and one can only hope that she doesn’t remain an Anzac secret for too much longer. And that all good music loving people will know of this tremendous music.

     Track Listing:
     01 Big Brother
02 Comes Love
03 Round Midnight
04 River Man
05 Feelin' Good
06 CC Rider
07 Such a Long Way From Home
08 I Shall Be Released
09 I Love You Porgy
10 Glory Box
11 Love & Glory
12 Don't Explain

Listen here.

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